Friday, January 12, 2018

Disciples Leader Speaks to President's Words


If the reports are true, and I believe they are, the President spoke offensive and derogatory words about persons from the Caribbean and African nations who have come to our nation. The words are ripe with racism. Rather than writing my own reflection, I have decided to share the message published by the Rev. Dr. Teresa Hord Owens, the General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Unfortunately, fifty years after the assassination of Martin Luther King, we must continue to address the racism and nativism in our midst. 

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As a follower of Jesus Christ, as a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ, I must speak to repudiate the comments from the President of the United States on Jan. 11, 2018. As Christians, we believe that all humans are made in the image of God and therefore worth of dignity and respect. We are called to love, and Jesus tells us that we will be known as his disciples if we have love for one another. (John 13:35).


There are certain roads that love cannot take. Love cannot take the road of discrimination; love cannot take the road of hate; love cannot take the road of oppression; love cannot take the road of racism; love cannot take the road of gender bias; love cannot take the road of homophobia. There is no justification for these hateful and racist comments. None. As the nation prepares to honor the birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I remind all  those who claimed to be followers of Christ of Dr. King’s admonition to speak up against injustice, to work for human dignity, for peace, and for equal justice for all. Dr.  King was most disappointed that those who called themselves Christians were telling him to wait until a more judicious time for action.
Today it is clear that we still cannot wait. I call upon those who believe in the dignity of all persons to not only speak, but work together to rid our nation of systemic injustice, to register to vote, and hold those who are not in solidarity with basic human dignity and justice to account. Acts of charity and songs of unity will not be enough to dismantle the structural injustice that exists in our society.  We cannot allow such hatred to stand unchallenged, and we cannot be silent or inactive in the face of words and actions that violate the Christian mandate to love all whom God has created.

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